Kealakekua, Hawaii– A pilot and sole passenger aboard an ultralight aircraft that crashed into Kealakekua Bay on Wednesday morning have both been killed.
Police say 38-year-old Tedd Robert Hecklin, owner of Tedd’s Flying Adventures in Kailua-Kona, and his female passenger, 37-year-old Kathryn Grace Moran of Kailua-Kona, were recovered from the scene and pronounced dead at Kona Communtiy Hospital. Police say they were the only people on the flight.
The Fire Department received a report of the crash at 9:36 a.m., 20 minutes after the Airborne Outback XT-912 SST Tundra micro-light aircraft departed from the Kona airport.
Police say eyewitnesses on commercial boat tours in Kealakekua Bay said the aircraft was banking left when they heard a loud popping sound, observed the aircraft’s wing fold up and then saw the plane fall into the ocean.
Officials say occupants from the commercial boats trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation attempted CPR on the pilot and passenger but were unsuccessful at reviving them. The victims were transported to the Kealakekua boat ramp, before they were taken to the hospital where they were pronounced dead.
According to remarks by the fire personnel who were the first county responders on the scene, “2 zodiacs from Captain Zodiac first on scene, they recover the male first and load him on board, kayakers in area assist w/ CPR. Captain Zodiac crew recover female and load her on Dolphin Discovery zodiac, CPR in progress as both zodiacs head to Napoopoo pier to meet up w/ HFD.”
“Mahalos and Aloha to Captain Zodiac and Dolphin Discovery crews and to the kayakers for their assistance,” said the fire crew in the written report.
Autopsies have been ordered to determine the exact cause of both deaths.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have been notified of the aircraft accident.